Failed 1Sambayan “united opposition” in 2021 now a template for opposition to Duterte dynasty in 2025 elections

Philippine electoral politics are back to plumbing an all-too-familiar theme — preventing a [insert bogeyman’s name here] win. The spectre of three Dutertes in the Senate has been the subject of furious chatter amongst the intelligentsia over the last couple of weeks since Vice President Sara Duterte dropped hints that her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte and her two brothers, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte and House Representative 1st District of Davao City Paolo Duterte, are planning to run for senators in the 2025 mid-term elections. The chatter is furious enough that two noted “thought leaders” wrote on this topic in their respective newspaper columns.

Joel Ruiz Butuyan issues a chilling question in his Inquirer piece, “Will there be three Dutertes in the Senate?”. Butuyan then writes…

[…] the election of three Duterte senators will reverberate with strong political implications. It will mean two things. One, the Dutertes remain strong contenders to retake the presidency in 2028 despite efforts to sideline them. Two, there’s widespread people’s dissatisfaction with the Marcoses. The strong showing of the Dutertes will be fueled by disenchantment with the Marcoses for the latter’s failure to improve the people’s lot.

…essentially pointing out the amusing irony that underlies the Yellowtards’ and commies’ cheering the unravelling of the “Unity Team” banner that erstwhile allies of convenience Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte ran under in the campaign lead-up to the 2022 national elections. That, plus the two “traditional” oppositionists’ cozying up with the Son of the Dictator’s administration pretty much created the force that is the subject of their new “anyone-but-him” campaign. Indeed, the Yellowtards, interestingly enough, worked frantically to cobble together a “unity” team of their own to mount an Anyone-but-Bongbong-Marcos bid during the 2021-2022 election campaign. Dubbed the “1Sambayan” coalition, the ill-thought-out bid for a “united opposition” fell flat on its face. Get Real Post contributor Ramon Ortoll wrote following its spectacular fall

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

The Opposition finally reaped what they sowed yesterday, the 12th of June 2021. The 1Sambayan coalition didn’t have any viable candidates to present to the public nor did they have a platform. It was still the same old narrative from the Marcos era about “freedom and democracy”. No sooner after they named their bets [themselves aspiring presidential candidates] that the same began issuing polite statements basically saying we don’t want anything to do with you. Democracy died yesterday because the Opposition committed political suicide. Instead of insults and destablization the Opposition should have focused on taking a fiscalizer role and working with the administration. They don’t have the patience and diligence to put in the hard work which only served to expose their lust for power and the absence of a genuine concern for the welfare of the Filipino people.

Funny how, today, the very fiasco in the failed “united opposition” project of the Yellowtards in 2021 now serves as the template aspiration of the major parties now at play — the Yellowtards, the commies, and now the Marcostards — to oppose the emerging Duterte juggernaut. An abject failure of imagination as Prof. Antonio Contreras writes in his Manila Times piece of a similar title citing “[former Senator Antonio] Trillanes’ argument that a unity ticket between the traditional political opposition and the Marcos coalition would be the best move to stop the Dutertes from regaining power” and current Senate minority leader Risa Hontiveros’s opposition to it. Contreras writes..

Hontiveros should be reminded that it is no longer Marcos and Duterte fighting over the same slice of the electorate, leaving the opposition to dwell in its own comfort zone. In 2025, it will be the Marcoses and the traditional political opposition forces who will be fighting over the anti-Duterte slice of the electorate.

And this is the mathematical reality that also eludes the diehard Marcos loyalists who think the much-vaunted 31 million votes for Marcos Jr. would remain intact after the break-up of the UniTeam.

Undoubtedly, both the traditional political opposition and the diehard Marcos loyalists face a crisis of political imagination. They both dwell on the grievances of the past instead of the dangers of a Duterte in the future.

“As in the past, the public will get entertained but everyone will go home empty-handed, except for the winning candidate’s camp,” Butuyan laments in conclusion. Empty-handed and empty-brained. Small surprise we see the same thing happening all over again — the products of the same empty brains that were the remains of the day of the previous elections. And all the ones that came before it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.